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David Edelstein Comes Off as a Bully in “Comically Serious”

In response to David Edelstein’s 715‑word review of Out of the Furnace on Vulture

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David Edelstein seems to be carrying a grudge in “Edelstein: Out of the Furnace Comically Serious.” This brings an unnecessary meanness to the prose, presented without much in the way of wit or skill, that makes for a very unpleasant experience for the audience.

Take the very beginning, where the critic sarcastically expresses his gratitude for one of the film’s main actors not being in a movie this time with a long title, as if actors have control over what a film is called. He goes on to accuse the actor of being “mumbly and mullish,” but the earlier nastiness only makes what later might be a fair assessment seem like he is just piling on. This brings the overall piece down.

And it isn’t the only such example.  Another cruel personal comment suggests that two characters in the film should not be married to each other because the female would not find the male actor (the actor, not the character) attractive. It’s fair to say that an actor is not believable in a role; attacking the actor personally makes the reviewer a bully.

But then again, this critic does not seem interested in an honest film review; rather we’re supposed to think him clever and witty for cutting people down personally. Showing off for the sake of showing off does not make for a well-written review.

Put this in the trash where it belongs and move on. Surely there are better things to do with one’s time.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation